DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — A 16-car chain reaction accident brought chaos to the Daytona 500 after only 15 of 200 laps Sunday, and during the ensuing cleanup, a violent lightning storm and rain shower caused a lengthy stop to the race.Kyle Busch pushed Christopher Bell into the back of Aric Almirola, who was running second. Almirola’s car lost traction as it drove over a slick, painted double line on the inside of the track. It veered into the car of Alex Bowman, who had started on the pole and was then running third.As the leader, Kevin Harvick, sped away unscathed, a closely bunched pack of cars piled blindly into the wreckage behind him. The cars slammed into the outside retaining wall, into one another and into more danger in the infield. It appeared that no one was hurt.The grassy infield had been turned into a muddy bog by a week of rain. Mud flew in every direction, splattering windshields, blocking drivers’ vision and coating the track with slime, worsening the melee.The storm, carrying golf-ball-size hail, lightning, thunder and strong winds, moved over the track even as the cars were skidding to a stop. The cars still running were ordered to pit road, and drivers got out as tarps were put over the cars. The race was stopped and no repairs were allowed.Fox television, which broadcast the race, announced that 16 cars had received significant damage. The affected drivers included the early leader, Ryan Newman, who was making his comeback after a near-fatal accident at the end of last year’s race. Others involved included William Byron, the other front row starter; Martin Truex Jr.; Erik Jones; Kurt Busch; and Jamie McMurray. Ryan Blaney made it through the wreck, only to spin into the infield mud, which tore out key components under his car. The cars of Almirola, Bowman and Newman looked too badly damaged to be repaired.During the delay, Marissa Briscoe, the wife of driver Chase Briscoe, tweeted a photo of her husband, still dressed in his racing suit, ordering food at a Panda Express drive through.The ferocity of the storm caused officials to order evacuation of the grandstands, which contained about 20,000 socially distanced fans. Fox television camera positions were also ordered abandoned. Track drying efforts, which typically require two to three hours once the rain stops, began when the lightning alert was lifted after an hour.The prerace favorite Denny Hamlin, going for an unprecedented third consecutive Daytona 500 victory, avoided the crash entirely, having dropped back to the rear of the field on purpose. He said he’d had a “premonition” that something might happen.“Predictable,” he said, shrugging. Hamlin won three of the last five Daytona 500s and had finished fourth in another by following his instincts, he said.Darrell Wallace Jr., who drives for the team Hamlin started with the basketball legend Michael Jordan, brought out the race’s first yellow flag on Lap 3 when he tangled with Derrike Cope. After minor repairs, Wallace was able to continue, although Cope, the race’s oldest driver at 62, crashed out of the event.Harvick was scored as the leader when the race was red-flagged. More thunderstorms moved through early Sunday evening and it was unclear whether the race would resume or be postponed.
Tabbed the 5-1 fourth choice, Efforia (Jpn) (Epiphaneia Jpn) entered the Japanese Classic picture with a bang in the G3 Kyodo News Hai at Tokyo on Sunday.
Rank from the stalls, the bay was full of energy before relaxing into fourth as early pacesetter Deep Rich (Jpn) (Deep Brillante Jpn) was overcome by Heart of a City (Jpn) (Heart’s Cry). Shifted out to the center of the course for the stretch drive, he was given a right-handed reminder and strode away to win by 2 1/2 good-looking lengths. Victipharus (Jpn) (Heart’s Cry Jpn) closed to take second, a head in front of second favourite Shahryar (Jpn) (Deep Impact Jpn).
Efforia donned cap and gown at first asking in a 2000-metre newcomer event last August before claiming another 2000-metre race-this time at Tokyo on Nov. 8.
Young stallion Epiphaneia, sire of last year’s Japanese Fillies’ Triple Crown heroine Daring Tact (Jpn), notched his third group winner and fourth black-type winner with Efforia (Jpn)’s win on Sunday.
The second foal and first winner for his three-time winning dam, Efforia has a juvenile half-brother by Harbinger (GB), and a yearling filly by Maurice (Jpn). Katies Heart was covered by Satono Crown (Jpn) in 2020.
Sunday, Tokyo, JapanKYODO NEWS SERVICE HAI-G3, ¥72,610,000 (US$691,798/£499,732/€570,771), Tokyo, 2-14, 3yo, 1800mT, 1:47.60, fm.1–EFFORIA (JPN), 123, c, 3, Epiphaneia (Jpn) 1st Dam: Katies Heart (Jpn), by Heart’s Cry (Jpn) 2nd Dam: Katies First, by Kris (GB) 3rd Dam: Katies (Ire), by Nonoalco1STBLACK-TYPE WIN. 1ST GROUP WIN. O-Carrot Farm;B-Northern Farm (Jpn); T-Yuichi Shikato; J-Takeshi Yokoyama.¥38,427,000. Lifetime Record: 3-3-0-0. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree. Werk Nick Rating: A+++. *Triple Plus*.2–Victipharus (Jpn), 123, c, 3, Heart’s Cry (Jpn)–Virginia (Jpn),by Galileo (Ire). O-G1 Racing; B-Northern Farm (Jpn);¥15,122,000.3–Shahryar (Jpn), 123, c, 3, Deep Impact (Jpn)–Dubai Majesty,by Essence of Dubai. O-Sunday Racing; B-Northern Farm (Jpn);¥9,561,000.Margins: 2HF, HD, NK. Odds: 5.80, 40.90, 3.90.Also Ran: Kingston Boy (Jpn), Stella Veloce (Jpn), Kaiser Nova (Jpn), Platina Treasure (Jpn), Deep Rich (Jpn), Leftovers (Jpn), Heart of a City (Jpn), Dios Valiente (Jpn), Taiso (Jpn).Click for the JRA chart & video or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree.
Well push the day three pitch to day two and that’s what you got on offer, Chepauk’s surface was turning square, triangles and even trapezium. On the day, there was Pant with his maturity, Ashwin with his posterity and Ben Foakes, who had triumphed others with his intensity in comparison to others.Rishabh Pant continues to mature and improviseCarefree, reckless and irresponsible – three words that started to define Rishabh Pant during his early days in Indian cricket. But since he made his Test debut, those words have been history and he has written several new pages in that book. The way he has matured since then has turned all eyes of criticism into appreciation, with rumours of adjectives running out of dictionaries. When he walked in during the wee hours on the first day, he played percentage shots, only attacking the ones which came his way. And the others, he defended, something he hadn’t quite been able to adapt in the other formats. Since his debut, Pant has an average of 45.92, just behind the likes of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja. While the left-hander isn’t quite a century-scorer, his valuable contribution has quite made him the fan favourite, which was visible at the Chepauk. When he walked out to bat, he received the biggest applause and when he walked back, the magnitude of the applause became thunderous. What was more clever was his choice of shot, playing the percentage shots while still looking for doubles, to not leave his partner at the other end exposed. Even when wickets fell around him, he patted the backs of the bowlers, giving them a bit of confidence. Unfazed about the situation, Pant continued to explode and mature. Now, time for him to do the same with the gloves.Chepauk crowd continues to marvel at Ravichandran AshwinSometimes people wonder if they could get to witness wizardry in its pure form, searching all the places for attaining wisdom. While English fans found it via James Anderson and his blissful swing, South Africa attained that wisdom with Dale Steyn. Miles away from the two Western countries, there is India and the Chepauk which continues to marvel every time they look at Ravichandran Ashwin, at his pure best. His brain is well one of the best in the game, with his memory serving him right, including that time when he took a review, for a delivery that spun similar to the way he did in 2016/17, in Mohali where he accounted for Stokes. Ashwin knows the ground, at the back of his hand, he knows every dust that would turn sharply, every dust that would bounce and the other that would keep low. When you have so much information well versed, you just have to go out and implement. That’s what Ashwin does every time he steps on to the ground, sticks by his basics and puts on his wizardry mask. His wand-like spells create chaos, even when you are batting with a monk at the crease. Even if you had ice-packs all over your body, you would feel the heat. That’s Ashwin, that’s Chepauk and that’s indeed the magical connection between the two. It isn’t just love at first sight, it is a marriage of the highest order – one bound by skills, memory and love. And it was only fitting that he walked away with the match-ball, picking up five wickets. Ben Foakes brilliant, both behind the gloves and with the batWhen the English top-order struggled, the pressure was always going to be on the middle-order to resurrect the batting innings. However, the pitch wasn’t a tad bit English or hell, not even what it was in the first Test – it was turning all corners. When the ball turns haywire, shot selection becomes crucial. That’s when Ben Foakes was put under the pump, after having weathered all storms – of turn and bounce behind the stumps. And Foakes came in, he had to listen to all kinds of chirps, from Rishabh Pant to Virat Kohli, everyone was interested in his whereabouts. Not just that, they were even handing him warnings, dishing out flighted deliveries, asking him to go against his own patience levels. None succeeded, the English keeper looked certain, far more than the others in the line-up, with his display against Indian spinners, who were at their peak. Ashwin was flighting and turning, the ball seemed to turn every corner and at the other, there was Axar Patel who was ripping it flat. But none dazed or troubled Foakes, who looked to get to the pitch marks and knock the delivery. His drive against Ashwin, which went straight, was arguably one of the best shots of the English innings. Not just comfortable, Foakes looked seasoned and with a tone of having played in these conditions, day in and day out.Follow us on Facebook hereStay connected with us on Twitter hereLike and share our Instagram page here .
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Four more games happened on Valentines Day but there would be no love lost in these encounters for sure, beginning at St Marys as Southampton took on Wolves…
Southampton 1 Wolverhampton Wanderers 2
These two met in the FA Cup Fifth Round at Molineux during the week and The Saints prospered there, and they say you rarely get the same outcome when you meet so quickly again, so would that mean a Wolves win on the South Coast? The Saints are on a poor run in the league so the visitors could take advantage of that perhaps, Wolves themselves hadn’t lost for two games after a win over Arsenal and then a point against Leicester, so plenty to build on there.
The Saints had the first chance of the game when Nathan Redmond saw a lovely curling effort tipped around the post by Rui Patricio, but there was nothing he could do about the host’s opener after 24 minutes as a lovely run down the right by Stuart Armstrong saw him cross and find Danny Ings produce a wonderful powerfully volley into the far corner, it was wonderful technique, and the hosts were in front. Wolves, who had been poor in the first period, needed a response, and they got one seven minutes into the second period after a very harshly awarded penalty against Ryan Bertrand after a powerful cross from Nelson Semedo hit his arm, and Ruben Neves stepped up to dispatch the penalty, and just like that Wolves were right back in this contest. It was a very harsh decision against Bertrand though, it must be said.
Wolves were a different side this half, much more attacking threat and endeavour, and twenty minutes into the second period Pedro Neto produced a wonderful piece of skill to get past Jannik Vestergaard before firing a brilliant effort beyond Alex McCarthy into the far corner, and The Saints had let another lead slip, and they were the ones now chasing the game, what a turnaround it had been.
Could the Saints respond, well their best chance saw a Redmond effort saved by Patricio, but Wolves saw the game out to take a big three points, and for the second season in succession come from behind to win at St Marys, you could see how much it meant to Nuno Espirito Santo at the final whistle, he was very animated on the sideline and shared hugs with all his staff. For the hosts, it was a crushing defeat, and for the first time in their history six straight league defeats, it’s a very testing time for them that’s for sure.
Now for the early afternoon showing from The Hawthorns as struggling West Brom welcomed title chasing Manchester United to the Midlands…
West Bromwich Albion 1 Manchester United 1
On paper there looked to be only one winner in this contest, West Brom are second from bottom and are on a poor run of form, whilst United were looking to go back into second spot and five points behind leaders Manchester City with a victory, but football is not played on paper is it, so could West Brom upset the Red Devils here? They certainly needed to as they desperately need the points to try and spark some miracle escape from the bottom three, they were thirteen points from safety at kick-off.
Well, less than two minutes in and West Brom had the lead as a lovely ball in from the right by Conor Gallagher saw Mbaye Diagne wrestle with Victor Lindelof and win the tussle to head past David De Gea and give The Baggies the perfect start to this one, although United need not worry at this stage as they had picked up twenty-one points from losing positions this season, so they were used to going behind in games. United needed a spark though, they had been pretty slow and lethargic for the majority of the first period, and just before half time they got that spark after Luke Shaw’s cross from the left was brilliantly volleyed home by Bruno Fernandes and United had that moment of magic at a crucial time in the contest and certainly went into the break in a better frame of mind had they not found that moment.
Just past the hour mark United thought they had been given the chance to go in front after Semi Ajayi was adjudged to have brought Harry Maguire as the two tanged going for a cross, but after VAR sent Craig Pawson over to the monitor, he overturned his decision and no penalty was forthcoming, Maguire looked offside anyway when the ball came in. but the correct decision had been reached, I thought. Could anyone win this game though? United saw Sam Johnson save from Mason Greenwood before a follow-up effort from Scot McTominay cleared off the line, whilst Diagne missed two golden chances for the hosts, and then right at the death Maguire saw a header brilliantly tipped onto the post by Johnstone, meaning the game did end all square. A point for each side then but a point that does not do either much good at both ends of the table if truth be told.
Now to the North of the Capital, and The Emirates, as Arsenal took on Leeds United in the late afternoon showing on Sunday…
Arsenal 4 Leeds United 2
The Gunners have hit a stumbling block recently after going seven games unbeaten, and they welcome a Leeds side to North London who has won three of their last four outings and have climbed above them in the table now, so this should be a decent game as we all know Leeds only play one way, and that is full-on attack mode, so could this suit Arsenal perhaps with their pace and power going forward? There were starts for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Martin Odegaard in the host’s lineup, whilst Leeds were missing the influential Kalvin Phillips meaning others would be in different positions to compensate, so would this affect the visitors?
Thirteen minutes in and the returning Aubameyang gave Arsenal the lead after a couple of stepovers cut inside and fired an effort between two defenders and despite keeper Illan Meslier getting a hand on it he could not keep the ball out and it found the net, Leeds could have done better defensively and the keeper probably should have done better too, but it was good play by the Gunners forward, and Leeds poor form in the capital looked to be continuing.
After 33 minutes Arsenal thought they had a penalty when Stuart Attwell pointed to the spot after Bukayo Saka burst into the box and appeared to be tripped by Liam Cooper, but on replay, this wasn’t the case and the penalty was overturned after VAR asked Attwell to go over and look at it on the monitor, much to the dismay of Mikel Arteta, it was probably the right decision though so could Leeds take advantage of this? Unfortunately for Leeds, their keeper decided to give the hosts a penalty not long after as he dilly-dallied on clearing a ball and Saka nipped in to take it off him and the Leeds keeper brought him down trying to get the ball back, and Aubameyang stepped up to send him the wrong way and The Gunners had a two-goal lead five minutes before the break. Not a good moment for the Leeds keeper and the visitors had a mountain to climb here.
And just before half time Arsenal made it three when lovely close control inside the box by the Gunners ended with Hector Bellerin being laid into fire past Meslier at his near post for his first goal at home for two years, and the hosts were ripping the visitors to shreds. Meslier, in particular, wasn’t helping his side in this one, the young Leeds keeper had not had the best of half’s that was for sure, it seems with Leeds it’s feast or famine these days, and they certainly needed to find something drastic in the second period to get themselves back into this contest, a contest the hosts were now in total control of.
Two minutes into the second period and Arsenal looked to have put the result beyond all doubt as Aubameyang marked his return to the starting eleven with a hat-trick as he stooped to head home what looked like a mishit cross from Emile Smith-Rowe, what a return for the Arsenal striker who had been through some tough times personally, so this was just the boost he and the Gunners needed.
Leeds though as we know will continue to play the way they do, and they pulled a goal back just before the hour mark when Pascal Struijk powered home a header from a Raphinha corner, and then with just over twenty minutes remaining Leeds pulled another one back after a cut back from Tyler Roberts found Helder Costa, both of whom had come on as second-half subs, to side foot home, and suddenly the hosts looked shaky and Leeds sniffed a remarkable comeback at The Emirates. Arsenal though managed to hold on and avert a disaster and could have added further goals had Aubameyang and then Saka not struck the woodwork, but a good day for the Gunners and it takes them back above Leeds into the top ten. It was a thoroughly entertaining watch between two sides who produced superb attacking football.
The final game of the day saw us up to the North West and Goodison Park as Everton took on struggling Fulham…
Everton 0 Fulham 2
The Toffees have only one defeat in their last five, although we would find out how much Thursday’s energy-sapping FA Cup thriller against Spurs has taken out of them, they took on a Fulham side who were in a precarious position, sitting third bottom and ten points from safety at kick-off, but it would be hard to get any points against an Everton side who could go level on points with Merseyside rivals Liverpool in fourth with a win.
Dom Calvert-Lewin was absent though after picking up a hamstring injury in that midweek cup game, which was a blow for the hosts, although Fulham had never won a league match at Goodison in twenty-seven attempts, and they would have to try and end that run without Aleksandar Mitrovic who had come down with Covid.
The opening half-hour though saw the Cottagers utterly dominate and saw plenty of openings pass them by, and it took the Toffees 33 minutes before they had a real effort on goal, which saw Seamus Coleman drive forward and fire an effort off the outside of the post, but the hosts had looked flat and lethargic in the opening forty-five minutes, and Fulham had been the better side, sadly though, for all their neat play, the strugglers had nothing to show for it, a reason why they are in the position they are, they cannot score goals.
But three minutes after the break Fulham had the goal they deserved as a lovely play between Ola Aina and Ademola Lookman saw the former lay a ball across for Josh Maja to net his first-ever Premier League goal by converting from close range, and The Cottagers now had a lead to show for all their wonderful play thus far. And twenty minutes into the second period Fulham increased their lead after a shot from Harrison Reed had been tipped onto the post by Robin Olsen, Maja was on hand to follow in and tap home for his second of the night, and Fulham looked well on their way to a huge three points, Everton had been woeful so far in this one and needed a big last twenty-five minutes to get anything from this contest.
The closest The Toffees came to getting themselves back into the contest came when Josh King, on as a sub for the hosts, poked home an Andre Gomes cross, but he was offside, so it didn’t count, and Fulham comfortably saw out the game to record a first-ever league win at Goodison and grab a massive three points in the process. Maybe their survival charge starts here? For Everton it was a very poor showing and they fall to a very disappointing loss here.
Let’s have a look at the table after Sunday’s results…
Wolves go up to 12th after a come from behind win at Southampton, who fall below them into 13th after sixth straight loss, whilst United do go back into second on goal difference despite a disappointing draw at West Brom, the host’s point doesn’t really do them any good either and remain twelve points from safety. Arsenal leapfrog Leeds into tenth after their win over Marcelo Bielsa’s men at The Emirates, and Fulham will believe they can get out of trouble after their first-ever win at Goodison Park means they are just seven points from safety now, Everton remain seventh after a disappointing evening.
Two more games to end the weekend take place tomorrow, which are below…
Monday February 15
West Ham United v Sheffield United (6pm)
Chelsea v Newcastle United (8pm)
Hammers go fourth if they win, Blades need points as they are now fourteen points from safety with only fifteen games to go, Chelsea will end the weekend fourth though if they win, Newcastle need points to ease the pressure, especially after Fulham’s win Sunday evening. Liverpool will be hoping that West Ham and Chelsea fail to win as a win for either sees last season’s Champions out of the top four.
Robin Goodfellow’s Racing Tips: Best bets for Monday, February 15By Sam Turner For The Daily Mail Published: 17:33 EST, 14 February 2021 | Updated: 17:33 EST, 14 February 2021 Sportsmail’s racing expert Robin Goodfellow dishes out his latest tips for meetings at Warwick, Lingfield and Wolverhampton. Sportsmail’s racing expert Robin Goodfellow dishes out his tips for Monday’s meetingsWarwick ROBIN GOODFELLOW 1.50 Stellar Magic2.20 Amarillo Sky2.50 Allmankind3.25 Paul’s Saga3.55 Two For Gold4.30 Ballymillsy5.00 Kyntara GIMCRACK1.50 Stellar Magic2.20 Orkan2.50 Allmankind3.25 Eglantine Du Seuil (nap)3.55 Oldgrangewood (nb)4.30 Mr Washington5.00 Kyntara Lingfield ROBIN GOODFELLOW 1.10 Whispering Gypsy1.40 Fantomas2.10 Hydroplane2.40 Powerstown Park3.15 Bailarico3.45 Marlborough Sounds4.20 Really Super4.50 Strong Glance GIMCRACK1.10 Carole’s Tzarina1.40 Ange Endormi2.10 Jumping Cats2.40 Powerstown Park3.15 Darkest Day3.45 Lantiern4.20 Getariver4.50 Galileo Silver Wolverhampton ROBIN GOODFELLOW 4.25 Nellie French4.55 Baby Steps (nap)5.30 Nate The Great6.00 Laurentia6.30 Assimilation (nb)7.00 Sammarr7.30 Toussarok GIMCRACK 4.25 Dubai Paradise4.55 Dutch Decoy5.30 Lucky Deal6.00 Never Said Nothing6.30 Sky Defender7.00 New Exceed7.30 Nortonthorpe Boy NEWMARKET – 6.30 Power of States (nb): 7.00 SAMMARR (nap).NORTHERNER – 4.55 Dutch Decoy (nb); 7.30 TOUSSAROK (nap).
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Inter took a massive step in the Serie A title race after Romelu Lukaku inspired them to a 3-1 home win over Lazio at San Siro. With Juventus and Milan dropping points the day prior, the onus was on Antonio Conte’s side to win to move top of the table above their city rivals. And they duly delivered thanks to their Belgian forward. Inter 3-1 Lazio: Player Ratings, Match Stats, Player Stats✔️ GOOD PERFORMANCESergej Milinkovic-Savic: 7.1Despite Inter claiming the spoils here, Lazio can feel hard done by as they controlled the ball for long periods and had a harsh penalty given against them at 0-0. And Milinkovic-Savic did excellent things in the centre of the midfield, making over 70 passes at a 93% pass completion rate – the highest on the pitch. He won 2/2 tackles and made six ball recoveries as well. And it was his goal-bound free-kick that flicked off Gonzalo Escalante and flew into the net, giving Lazio the goal their play deserved, if not one that they could build on. ❌ BAD PERFORMANCEAchraf Hakimi: 5.8Within Antonio Conte’s system there are games where Hakimi sees little of the ball in effective positions and this was one of those. The Moroccan wasn’t able to impact the match in an offensive way, losing possession a hefty 18 times despite only having 43 touches of the ball throughout. He also won just 2/6 of his duels, as well as not putting a single cross into the area and having one touch inside the opposition box. A distinctly un-Hakimi like performance from the wing-back. ⭐ STAR MANRomelu Lukaku: 8.4This was one of those evenings where the dynamic Belgian was simply unplayable. After the harsh penalty award he stepped up to calmly open the scoring, slotting to the goalkeeper’s left for a vital goal. And while the Lazio defence stopped expecting an offside, Lukaku played on and smashed his volley past Pepe Reina for 2-0. But he kept his best moment for the second half; with the match in the balance at 2-1, he left Marco Parolo for dust on the counterattack and slipped to his side to allow Lautaro Martinez the most straightforward task to roll into the net. Inter 3-1 Lazio: Player Ratings, Match Stats, Player Stats
Billesdon Brook | Racingfotos.com
Classic heroine and MG1SW Billesdon Brook (GB) (Champs Elysees GB-Coplow GB, by Manduro Ger) will visit Darley stallion Dubawi (Ire), Racing Post reported on Sunday. Retired after her eighth-place finish in defense of her G1 Kingdom of Bahrain Sun Chariot S. in October, the Richard Hannon trainee was named an English highweight at seven to 9 ½ furlongs in 2019.
“Billesdon Brook is going to Dubawi, I know it’s expensive but I think she deserves it, so I’m just waiting for her to be ready to go off to Newmarket,” owner Jeanette McCreery told Racing Post of the 2018 G1 1000 Guineas heroine. “I’d always thought I’d send her to Dubawi, I think he’s a wonderful stallion so I thought ‘why not’, she deserves the best. She hurt herself in the last race she ran in, it was very wet in the Sun Chariot. She’s been home, had box rest, now she’s out in the paddock and is fine, so we’ve something to look forward to in a couple of years anyway.”
A winner of seven of her 26 starts with 10 more placed runs and earnings of $982,087, the chestnut also scored in a trio of Group 3s.
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This story was posted in Europe, Shared News Europe, Top News Europe and tagged Billesdon Brook (GB), Champs Elysees (GB), Classic heroine, Dubawi (Ire), G1 Sun Chariot S., Jeanette McCreery, retired.
Ravichandran Ashwin, who had an incredible day-out in Chennai, insisted that Indian wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant is working really hard on his glove work. There was criticism for India for using Kuldeep Yadav late but Ashwin stated that it is ought to happen given he’s the third spinner.Indian gloveman Rishabh Pant continued to impress with his batting as he made fifty in the fourth consecutive Test. He remained unbeaten at the end of India’s first innings on 58* and helped the hosts reach 329 hitting some clean sixes of the English spinners. But remarkably enough, it was his wicketkeeing today that stole the thunder as he took an exceptional diving catch to his left off Mohammed Siraj’s bowling that left everyone in awe of his abilities. In the first Test, he had kept well but did make errors, not quite so today, even though it was a turner and the kind of pitch where his keeping remains under scrutiny the most. Pant had missed a simple stumping chance on the bowling of R Ashwin in the first Test after which the offie was seen telling him how to use his hands better whilst keeping. But after his good day out in the park, when Ashwin was asked about Pant’s keeping, he revealed that the 23-year-old is working really hard on his glovework and also outlined that it’s wrong to constantly compare him with others. “In terms of Rishabh Pant’s keeping, the name of the game is confidence. He has been batting well, he has been working incredibly hard on his keeping. Sometimes, when you are constantly compared with someone, it can be really hard. I really do feel for Rishabh, especially when he is playing the white-ball format, he was constantly compared with the great MS Dhoni. Now too, he is being compared with Saha and so on, sometimes it is better to give him a break. He definitely has the ability and will go on from strength to strength, which I have no doubts on,” Ashwin said in the virtual presser. Axar Patel, who is making his Test debut in the ongoing game was really good as well as he took the crucial wicket of Joe Root when the English skipper mistimed his favorite sweep shot to hand over Patel a memorable maiden scalp. The left-arm spinner also got rid of Moeen Ali later and finished with figures of 2/40. Ashwin also reckoned that taking Root’s wicket, who had made a double-hundred last test, was crucial for the team.“Axar Patel is one of those players who has playing first-class cricket for a while now. He has had his share of good performances. Like I mentioned before about Washi, we see them in the limited-overs format and build our own perception. So with respect to that, getting Joe Root in his first Test must be a really good thing for him, very important wicket in terms of the game. And Moeen Ali too, it was crucial for us to get that wicket.”On a wicket which was turning square, Kuldeep Yadav was introduced late in the attack and bowled merely six overs while both Axar and Ashwin bowled 20 and 23.5 overs respectively. Reacting on the criticism that India received on bowling him late, the offie, who take a fifer today, asserted that he’s the third spinner and in a five-man attack, it takes time to get to bowl. “Look sometimes, we just play the game and we don’t see how you guys are seeing the game. Anyone who has played the game will understand that there are five bowlers and he’s the third spinner. It will take time before he gets his turn. This is how the game goes, this is pretty much how it happens. I think it is more about the perception of what people want to see. I thought he bowled really well and I think you will see an increasing role for him.”Follow us on Facebook hereStay connected with us on Twitter hereLike and share our Instagram page here .
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The recently concluded grudge match between Daniel Negreanu and Doug Polk created a lot of stir in the poker community and gave everyone hours’ worth of great, high stakes entertainment.
Polk came into the match as the favorite and walked away the winner after 25,000 hands, banking $1.2 million for his victory.
In the days following the conclusion of the HU challenge, many players shared their views of the match, among others Phil Hellmuth.
Hellmuth was supporting Negreanu from the get-go, but he wasn’t too happy about the final result and in a recent interview, the Poker Brat openly stated he was disappointed by the Canadian’s performance.
The short, two-minute segment, didn’t go unnoticed by Negreanu, who responded by challenging Hellmuth to a heads up match under his terms.
DNegs Quick to Respond to Phil’s Jab
Helllmuth’s short statement about Negreanu’s play also included not so thinly veiled brag about his own poker skills.
The way Phil explains it, Negreanu’s coaching team was recommended by him as he recognized them as very good and capable players.
However, Phil sent them Daniel’s way because they didn’t have much to teach him?
It seems Hellmuth is trying to suggest that he already knows everything Negreanu has spent months trying to learn and Polk spent years studying.
Daniel wasted no time responding to Phil, challenging him to a heads up match under any terms he wanted: live or online and for whatever number of hands he wanted to play.
It goes without saying that the poker community was thrilled to see the Canadian’s reaction, but will Hellmuth go for it?
Will There Be a Hellmuth vs. Negreanu HU Match?
Phil Hellmuth is known as an outspoken player who holds his own skills in very high regard. The whole Poker Brat attitude has been a part of his persona for years and helped him build a brand around his name.
But, facing an open challenge by Negreanu, what are the odds of Phil actually accepting?
Personally, I don’t think they are very high at all.
While Hellmuth loves to talk the talk, he’s not very likely to walk the walk in the situation where he must know he’s a big underdog. Even if the two had equal skills before the Negreanu – Polk challenge, Daniel has put in countless hours studying HU play and GTO.
DNegs was going into the grudge match against the odds and for that alone, he earned some respect from the community and from Polk himself.
At this moment in time, the skill gap in the particular format between Negreanu and Hellmuth could be even wider than it was between DNegs and Polk when the grudge match was announced.
Even Polk said after the match that he wouldn’t be as thrilled to play Negreanu again as he felt Daniel has improved a lot over the months of the challenge.
The Canadian would probably jump at the opportunity to play some one-on-one poker with the Poker Brat and put his newly found skills (that he paid dearly to acquire) to good use. Plus, the skirmish would likely be just as popular (if not more) as the original grudge match.
One Is Allowed to Dream
In the same video included earlier, Hellmuth boasted his heads-up skills, claiming he’d won 29 of his last 30 HU matches.
This is technically right, but these were all short battles, featuring no more than a few hundred poker hands.
In a prolonged match that would last 10,000+ hands, DNegs would have to be a clear favorite, just like Polk was against the Canadian.
And, to be completely honest, it seems really farfetched that the Poker Brat would accept to play Negreanu in this format. If anything, he might be up for a few hundred poker hands, which is far too small of a sample size to determine who the better player is.
One is allowed to hope, though.
If Hellmuth and Negreanu were somehow to come to an agreement for an actual, proper heads up match that would include the kind of coverage that we saw in the earlier challenge, it would be a real treat for the fans.
Both DNegs and Phil are in the group of the most popular poker players alive and their “grudge” match would attract hundreds of thousands of eyeballs.
Is it likely to happen? No, absolutely not – but we sure as hell root for it! And, if the match were to happen, who would you bet on and what odds do you think would be fair?
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